Lemmon Hill ball field is owned by the Long Grove Park District and sits close to the corner of Gilmer and 83. I have been asked before where exactly Lemmon Hill is, and why is the hill named for a fruit that doesn’t grow here? To which I replied… “Why in the Sam Hill would you ask that?” There’s your clue – the Hill in Sam Hill and Lemmon Hill don’t refer to geographic features, but rather a person. Sam Hill, no relation to Long Grove or any Long Grove Hills, was a notorious surveyor in the 1800’s who reportedly had such foul language that his name because a synonym for cursing. The Hill in Lemmon Hill refers to Bob Hill, who owned a dairy (Ferry Hill Farm) near the location of the current ball field. There were several farms that comprised the dairy, including land which encompassed the original Gridley homestead.


One of the things early Long Grove Historical Society members did was to interview some of the old timers, like Bob Hill. In 1989, Barbara Turner sat down with Bob Hill to talk about his memories of Long Grove. The complete transcript follows further below, but I’ll start with a few highlights to wet your whistle:

During the war, we made hay on the fairways (on what is now Twin Orchards Golf Club)

The Dairy Manager lived in the Gridley’s old Endwood estate house. They also had a bunkhouse for jockeys there. You see, they had race horses on the farm many years ago.

During the war (WWII), some officers from Fort Sheridan came over and set up camp at Endwood estate. They had lookouts up in the cupola. Wires spread all over the place for communication. They had a guard at the entrance to our house and every time we went in and out, he wanted to know what was going on.

Back then the whole area was known as Prairie View, not Long Grove. “Where do you come from?” “Prairie View, Illinois” “That’s so corny, it’s cute!” I miss old Prairie View. It makes me mad. They moved the post office and they don’t even say Lincolnshire-Prairie View, but just Lincolnshire.

When we bought that (the Southeast corner of 22 & 83), there was a filling station on that corner. It had a beautiful bar, oak bar, inside. We put the porch on it and made a tearoom out of it. When the tearoom closed it was an a player piano store.

Here’s a link to the whole transcript of the interview:


And, um, Lemon, the fruit, only has one “m”, in it. So what is a Lemmon? That’s a story for another newsletter.